Letters for September 2, 2010

Letter of the week
This guy knows his Net

Re “Sammies nomination!” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, August 26):

First of all, awesome list of bands nominated!

Now to complain: I agree that as a social networking site, MySpace is a graveyard. However, MySpace can still be an asset for bands, because everyone knows the layout. When you visit a band’s MySpace page, you know where the songs are; they instantly stream; and the calendar is right there, clear as day.

I am disappointed with Facebook’s band pages because of the inconsistency. Visit any band’s page and you may find music on the main tab, it may be buried under a different tab or it may not be there at all. Plus the events listing doesn’t give you as clear a view of a band’s schedule as the MySpace calendar does.

However, Facebook has handled bands in a much better way than MySpace. I’m sure we are all thankful that [Facebook] made sure bands couldn’t blast out the “add me” spam that we were all bombarded with on MySpace. The event invite system is awesome and even if you start getting a little overloaded on invites, you’re the one who clicked “Like.”

So bands, don’t delete your MySpace. Just keep it up as a free website and do all your social networking and sharing on Facebook, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, BandJob (that’s the one I’m gonna start—ha ha!), etc. Diversify your portfolio! Unfortunately, you better have an assistant, intern, or help from a syncing site like ArtistData, or it’s gonna take you 30 minutes to add one show to your many calendars across the net.

At least now that MySpace is dead, maybe bands will spend more time writing and recording, promoting or playing live than they did spamming out messages to increase their friend list.

Nah, who are we kidding? There is still an endless amount of free porn on the Net.

Aaron Welch

No Molotovs, just music

Re “Sammies nomination!” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, August 26):

Every year the Sammies voting season comes around, and I expect a delightful amount of infighting to break out around town. Every year I am let down, sort of—it is bittersweet.

While it would be incredible to see groups of maladjusted (or just plain furious) “artistes” wielding pitchforks and hurling Molotov cocktails at each other, it is equally incredible to watch how cool and cavalier the artists act as they quietly and/or shamelessly push their vote. It is just good clean fun.

The Sammies are a wonderfully oblique way for SN&R to spark Sac’s interest in a slew of bands, which means that even if your pet bands don’t make it, take solace in the fact that a good number of “new” people have now heard the music.

So three cheers for clever marketing that requires little or no effort on the artists’ behalf!

Alexander Ayers

Conspiracy nut—or just smart?

Re “Meg & Jerry” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, August 19):

How many candidates do we have to see in order for people to realize that the deck is stacked? Look, no matter who gets in, be it an ultra-underachieving liberal like [Jerry] Brown or a cutthroat, shrewd businesswoman such as [Meg] Whitman, as long as the interests of large government, corporations and big unions are taken care of, this is all we’re going to see. No one who ever has the peoples’ interest will ever make it to a large enough stage for us to see him or her.

Unemployment in this state is rampant because they want it this way. Immigration is out of control because they want it this way. Our schools are run down, and we’re losing teachers left and right because they want the next few generations coming up to be uneducated in order to lead them easier. Call me a conspiracy nut, but look at what’s been written on the walls long enough for a 5-year-old to see, and it seems pretty obvious to me.


As good as any other option

Re “Meg & Jerry” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, August 19):

No one seems overly excited about either candidate, so let’s make them put their millions into the state budget, then let them draw straws!

Lydia DeNecochea

Time will tell

Re “Meg & Jerry” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, August 19):

This was a well-written article that confirmed a lot of my thoughts on both candidates. Time will tell if an election can be bought outright.

Roy Forehand
via e-mail

Government is a business, he sez

Re “Meg & Jerry” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, August 19):

Of course Meg Whitman wants to run the state of California like a private business, because that’s the real world of money and economics, and she did pretty good at it at her last place of business, eBay. She knows how to do what’s necessary to make a payroll and return a dividend to her stockholders, something the politicos in Sacramento have no idea how to do, based upon past performance. Look at the fiscal condition of the state.

Tom Hennessy
Sierra City

Dry wit

Re “Water grab” by Burt Wilson (SN&R Essay, August 19):

Burt: You’re all wet.

Edd Baron

Put a cap on it

Re “An American ideal” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, August 19):

Although I understand your frustration with the inequalities of income in our country, and by no means will I argue the wealthy should pay less than their share, I certainly hope you, Mr. vonKaenel, aren’t asserting the wealthy should pay more than their share? And by more, I mean bear the burden of elected officials overspending unnecessarily on wars we should not be fighting and the like, for this certainly would be un-American, to ask a class of individuals to pay more than their share.

We are coming upon elections in November, and Ms. [Meg] Whitman has spent a boatload of her own money to win the governor’s seat in California. This, to me, is absurd. Why not put a cap on election spending? Pick a number, for argument’s sake, of $25 million. Any dollars that are spent by a citizen trying to win any seat over this cap amount must be matched and donated to specific charities. For example, using the dollar figure above, if Ms. Whitman spent only $35 million, then she must put forth $20 million towards a charity ($10 million over the cap x 2 = $20 million).

Instead of going after the wealthy for being wealthy, why not put reasonable limits on how they spend their money? The election process, in my opinion, is a good example. If someone is willing to spend over $100 million of their own money for the governor’s position of a state in the situation like we are in, then there is another motive at play, which makes me nervous. Increasing taxes doesn’t always work. All of the wealthy have high-profile [certified public accountants] on retainer, and they will find any loophole they can to pay as little as possible.

You could even use the same theory on donations to a political party. Put a cap of $10,000 on donations. Any dollar spent over that in donations must be matched and given to a charity.

Rich E.
Elk Grove

Greg tikka’d her off

Re “Tikka’d off” by Greg Lucas (SN&R Dish, August 19):

While I am a big fan of Greg Lucas’ political journalism, I am not sure about his food criticism this time around.

I have been eating regularly at Indian Grill at [Seventh] and L [streets] since it opened and consider it a very welcome addition to the downtown Sacramento lunch scene. The location is a bit of a hole in the wall, but the owners have done a great job of turning that less-than-promising location into something pleasant. And every time I eat there, I am thrilled at how my food is fresh and spicy and flavorful. It isn’t a buffet, but that is its strength, because the more limited menu allows for fresher and more flavorful choices.

So please folks, give it a try.

Tracy Kenny

Accessory to (lawn) murder

Re “Kill your lawn” by Ted Cox (SN&R Feature, August 12):

Thank you for highlighting what a waste lawns are! Readers seeking encouragement and advice for lawn replacement will find like-minded company at the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Our chapter educates and advocates for gardening with the plants that were the original inhabitants (“natives”) of the land you now live on.

Local natives are best adapted to local conditions and, around here, are most likely to be water-thrifty. Gardening with natives not only saves water, but helps replace habitat destroyed by development and invasive species often used in landscaping. Our yards can become safe harbors for native plants and beautiful native wildlife, like hummingbirds and butterflies.

The Sacramento Valley chapter meeting September 8, at 7 p.m., presents a roundtable and open Q-and-A with a landscaper, an ecologist, an experienced native-plant gardener, an Audubon environmental educator and a knowledgeable audience, who can answer your questions about drought-tolerant native gardening.

You can get a drought-tolerant yard started without ripping out your lawn all at once. Start small. Pick up a few plants at the chapter’s annual fall native-plant sale, Bring Nature Home, September 25 and 26. The sale features hard-to-find native plants of the American River Parkway (such as purple coyote mint and golden sticky monkey flower), tended by the chapter’s all-volunteer Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery and sold to the public only twice a year. Other nurseries will offer dozens more natives. Plant experts will help you choose the right plants for your soil, light and water conditions. The sale and an exhibit, “Connecting Plants and their Places,” are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. The chapter meeting and plant sale both take place at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Boulevard (extension of E Street), Sacramento 95816. Both are free and open to the public. Check out the CNPS website, www.cnps.org, and the chapter’s, www.sacvalleycnps.org.

Barbara Wolf
Sacramento Valley Chapter
California Native Plant Society

It’s about money, not water

Re “Kill your lawn” by Ted Cox (SN&R Feature, August 12):

It’s obvious we have water shortage problems, and it makes sense to reduce the amount of water used on grass. However, increasing the price will result in a lot of ugly brown yards. Many people simply can’t afford any additional expense. Then there’s the fact that residential use accounts for less than 20 percent of the total.

Meanwhile, the state allows rice and cotton to be grown here and wastes thousands of gallons watering freeway overpasses. Am I the only one who feels this is much more about money than water?

George Selkirk